Verdasco fails to back up Nadal win


Just two days after stunning Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco was a shock loser himself at the Australian Open.

Verdasco had not dropped a set against Dudi Sela in two previous meetings, but went down to the Israeli 4-6 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-4) on Thursday.

The Spanish left-hander committed 63 unforced errors and was broken an incredible eight times.

He appeared to be fighting back against Sela when the Israeli failed to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fourth set, but Verdasco played a poor tie-break that included back-to-back double faults.

The loss sums up Verdasco's career at grand slams, where he has reached the quarter-finals just four times.

Since his loss to Nadal in the 2009 semi-finals, Verdasco has failed to get past the fourth round at the year's first grand slam.

His win over Nadal and subsequent exit opens up that quarter of the men's draw.

Sela will face either Jeremy Chardy or Andrey Kuznetsov, with Gael Monfils likely awaiting the winner in the fourth round.